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Sunday, December 21, 2014

I went to ‘The Dan Patrick Show’ and the man cave is every bit as awesome as you could imagine

LB Dan Patrick interview

If you were wondering where the heck LB has been for the past few days, the answer is simple: I was traveling to Connecticut to “The Dan Patrick Show” where I got to interview the man himself — Dan Patrick.

The whole thing came about when a company that works with Dan Patrick Show sponsor Ram Trucks asked if I wanted to head on out to Milford, Conn., to check out the show and interview Dan on behalf of Ram Trucks. They obviously didn’t have to ask me twice — I was all-in.

I got my tired bones up early Sunday morning and was at LAX at 6:30 a.m. to begin the journey. The flight was to Atlanta and then Hartford, and from there it was about an hour drive to Milford. Naturally I was a little concerned about missing the two Elite 8 matchups that day — first UConn-Michigan State and then Kentucky-Michigan, but I got to see some of the first game on my flight and in the airport, and then I caught the second game on radio while driving from Hartford to Milford. Luckily I arrived at the hotel in time to see Aaron Harrison’s game-winning shot, which was pretty awesome.

And you know what the best part about being in Connecticut the same day UConn clinched a Final Four berth was? Getting to hear the guy working the front desk brag in his obnoxious accent about how he had the Huskies going to the title game. I almost hope they lose just to spite that guy.

After a full day of traveling, I went out to a business dinner with some of the folks who work with Ram Trucks and grabbed some good Italian food at a joint called Reggianos. I recommend the rigatoni.

We got back to the hotel around 11:00 p.m. and I was just totally ready to pass out so I could be fresh for the day at the show Monday. That was going to be the fun part.

So my sleep wasn’t all that great because I kept hearing cars whizzing by the road right out front of the hotel. I had to open the curtains to find out what was causing all the noise and, low and behold, holy s— what the heck was all that white stuff outside? It was bleeping snowing Monday morning! Yes, I swear, living in Southern California my entire life, that was like the first time I really had experienced snow (I don’t count the ice outside at Astro Camp when I was like 10). I was so confused. How do I dress? Do I wear a hood? Do I need special snow pants or snow shoes? I was smart enough to pack an umbrella for the trip just in case — do I use it for the snow? I was so lost.

Snow Milford

Not that I’d want to live somewhere where it snows in late March/early April especially when I spent all day outside Saturday wearing a T-shirt and jeans in the Valley, but seeing and being in the snow for the first time was pretty cool. I mean did you realize that the snow just goes away after it lands on you? It like magically dissolves after a few seconds. Who knew? Definitely a highlight.

So after some breakfast and a pre-show meeting with some of the folks who work with Ram Trucks and DirecTV — which owns the show — we headed over to the studio to catch part of the show from the green room.

The cool thing about the DP Show is that it’s filmed from two studios — one in New York that’s typically used on Mondays during football season, and the rest of the time in Milford, which is the town where DP lives. Milford is a nice, small town, and you really would have no clue that a big-time radio production is taking place where it does.

Right in the middle of the street, just past a cafe and next to a sports bar/restaurant, you head up a flight of stairs and arrive at the studio on the second floor. Unless someone told you about it, you would have no idea that there was a big radio show being broadcast from just above the sidewalk there. It’s like walking down the street in Chicago and, hey, look at that brick building over there — it’s Wrigley Field!

LB Dan Patrick Green Room

After going up a flight of steps, the first room you come to is the green room. The green room has a small couch, chair and wall-mounted TV where you can watch the show. One door leads to the technical area where the DirecTV folks were running controls, and the other door leads to a hallway that takes you to the show studio.

And my goodness, is the studio glorious.

You know how you have a vision of how something may look, but you never really know exactly what it will look like until you actually see it? I mean I still remember going to a taping of “Wheel of Fortune” when I was 8 years old and feeling so gutted to find out that the illustrious wheel was so tiny in person. Seriously, that enormous looking wheel was only like the size of a dinner plate in real life.

Well that wasn’t at all the case with the Man Cave.

The DP Show studio/man cave is every bit as awesome as you could imagine. Think about what you’ve seen on TV all this time and how cool it looks. It’s a thousand times better in person.

All the colors are even more vibrant. The floors and glass are shiny; the show logo just pops; the posters and decorations completely stand out. It’s really gorgeous.

And another cool thing is that you don’t really feel like you’re in a TV or radio studio; I’ve worked in radio for years and have been in all kinds of studios, and this one just makes you feel so comfortable. Plus, at Dan’s request, the video cameras are kind of tucked away and hidden, that way the crew members don’t really think about the fact that they’re on TV.

LB basketball Dan Patrick show

The basketball court was definitely big enough to shoot a few jumpers, but I haven’t taken too many jumpers since high school, so I passed on shooting because I didn’t want to embarrass myself. But I definitely wasn’t going to miss the opportunity for a picture.

As we sat in the green room, each member of the show popped in at different breaks to say hello. Dan did as well, which was very nice considering he was in the middle of hosting the program.

When the show came to an end, Dan took us into the studio and showed us around a bit while they set up for our interview. He explained the background behind the studio and how the whole thing really was a sports bar.

And then it was time for the interview.

As you can see in the image I posted at the very top, I was seated next to Dan and had about half an hour to ask him pretty much whatever I wanted.

LB DP interview

We talked about interviews — what his keys are to doing great interviews, what some of his most memorable ones were — and he shared some tips. We talked about his decision to leave ESPN, his relationship with Keith Olbermann, and how he got involved in the Adam Sandler movies. And of course we talked about his Ram Truck.

I’ll be posting the videos from the interview in the coming days, so keep your eye out for that. I learned a lot from the interview, and some of the stuff he shared was very interesting, so I’m looking forward to posting it all.

One thing that really stood out about Dan is I got to see firsthand how good of a storyteller he is. The cadence with which he speaks, the pauses, the way he recalls things — it’s all so engaging. It really is such a skill and talent, and you can see why he’s so successful on air.

The interview went really well and Dan was a pleasure to be around and great host to us.

After the interview … it was time for the other fun part — getting to hang out with the Danettes.

One of the most common questions I’ve been asked since taking the trip is: what are the Danettes like? Is everyone as cool in person as they seem in the show? And the answer is: yes. Absolutely.

LB Danettes

Paulie, Seton, Fritzy and McLovin are all super chill, super cool and really funny guys. What you see on air is exactly what they’re like in person. And that’s why the show works so well. That laid-back, hang loose, talk sports, casual, enjoyable vibe that you feel when you’re watching or listening to the show is how they are in real life. They’re able to combine take that and translate it on air while giving you an organized show.

Making you feel like you’re hanging out in a man cave with some fun guys talking sports is a lot harder to achieve than it sounds, but they’re able to do it perfectly and that’s because it’s so natural for them.

You also hear that Dan and McLovin are pretty tall guys, but it’s one thing to hear it and then to see it in person. They’re both very tall.

OK, so I have to share this. Before my trip, I got a special request from a friend of the site. LBS’ very own “Crabman” (and to learn the full story behind the name, you can read this post), asked if I could have Fritzy and McLovin give him a shoutout. Since this was going to be my only time in Milford, at the Man Cave, hanging at the DP Show, I wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity.

Crabman, you asked for it, you got it:

Did I not tell you that these guys were hilarious? That video was too funny.

I got to take a few pictures around the set after the interview ended, shook hands with all the guys, and then had some lunch at the Seven Seas restaurant below the studio before heading out to the airport for the long trip home to LA.

I didn’t get back into town until after midnight — and that’s with gaining three hours from the time change — so I was somewhat wiped out yesterday and am finally getting back to normal now.

Below are some more of the pictures from the studio I took … and keep your eye out for some of the videos from the interview in the coming days.

LB Dan Patrick Had to get a picture with the man himself

Larry Brown Wall of Morale I’ve never been surrounded by so many models before in my entire life

LB Dan Patrick Adam Sandler wall Just Go With it — such an underrated movie. Tanner Patrick Jr. knows what’s up

LB Fritzy and McLovin Fritzy and McLovin just killed it on their shoutout to Crabman. I also confessed to McLovin that I’m a huge fan

More videos from the interview coming later in the week!



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